Less than a month after being released by the UFC for registering high levels of testosterone, former Octagon star Nate Marquardt has already found himself a new home. Although several promotions expressed interest in acquiring the controversial welterweight, “Nate the Great” opted to join upstart British Association of Mixed Martial Arts.
“I’m very excited to be working with BAMMA,” Marquardt told ESPN. “They hold sports regulation in high regard and mandate it for their athletes. They are also known for signing top-level fighters and I want to fight the best. I can’t wait to show everyone what I’m capable of in the welterweight division.”
As standard with most MMA contracts, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, it was reported Marquardt entered into “a multi-fight, worldwide exclusive promotional” arrangement. The contract is one of the richest awarded in the company’s brief history.
BAMMA vice president Liam Fisher told ESPN it’s possible they’ll add him to their September 10th card in Birmingham, England, and that a welterweight title shot right off the bat wouldn’t be out of the question.
“If we do line him up for September, I think his next fight [after that] will be in February,” Fisher said. “We’ve already penciled that in pending fitness.”
Speaking of medical requirements, the company recently introduced mandatory performance-enhancing drug tests for all of their championship affairs, as well as random pre- and post-event screenings.
“We definitely said that the random tests can occur between events, so we’re going to try and work towards that,” Fisher added. “What I don’t want this to turn into is some kind of witch hunt towards Nate – if he comes to the UK he gets targeted because of what’s happened previously.
“I think whatever we do is going to be a natural process towards our regulation as a country anyway. I don’t think it will revolve around Nate. We’ll see what stage we can get to before the next show.”
Marquardt was slated to headline “UFC on Versus 4” opposite Rick Story, but was abruptly pulled from the show just minutes before the official weigh-ins because he failed to meet the medical requirements issued by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission.
Shortly after the controversy, Marquardt revealed the Testosterone Replacement Therapy he was medically prescribed triggered him to register high levels of testosterone and flunk his pre-fight medicals. It was the second time he had failed a drug test under the UFC’s watch.
The 32-year-old owns an impressive 31-10-2 professional mixed martial arts record.